Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds announced the highest one-day death toll from COVID-19 on Wednesday. Twelve Iowans died in the past 24 hours, bringing the state’s total to 148.
There were also 467 new positive cases, which puts that total at 6,843, and 1,047 negative tests (34,494 total). Reynolds said 93 percent of these cases come from the 22 counties where she extended restrictions until at least May 15. On Tuesday, 96 percent of the cases were from those counties.
“We were able to flatten the curve,” Reynolds said in defense of her plan to open up 77 counties on May 1. “I think it makes sense to loosen up areas that have seen little-to-no virus activity. … I didn’t just rip the Band-Aid off or flip the light switch.”
She later clarified that she considered it flattened because Iowa’s hospitals have not been overwhelmed.
“I shouldn’t punish half of the state when we’ve got a significant spike in eight areas,” Reynolds said.
When asked if she would attend church or a farmers market this weekend, Reynolds answered with, “Isn’t this great? Iowans get to decide,” before admitting she’d likely watch a church service online.
She’s also in recent days repeatedly said she “trusts Iowans to do the right thing” when it comes to social distancing.
Reynolds also announced 2,428 Iowans have recovered for a rate of 35 percent. There are 4,188 tests available in the state.